College football players aren’t allowed to accept gifts, unless they’re playing in a bowl game. Paying players is strictly prohibited, except in the form of up to $550 in bowl game gifts. But not all gift packages are created equal.
Sports Business Dailyhas compiled a list of the gifts from all 40 bowl games this season. There are plenty of watches and speakers, as well as the mysterious “gift suite” (where players get to choose a gift from a few different options). Let’s take a look at the winners and losers.
5. Bahamas Bowl — Old Dominion vs. Eastern Michigan
Gift suite; S’Well insulated drink bottle (From $25, Nordstrom.com); Jabba Bluetooth speakers; drawstring backpack; beach towel; bowl pin
A water bottle, speakers, backpack and towel are essentials when going to the beach. Hopefully the coaches give their players enough time to take advantage of it.
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4. Cotton Bowl — Western Michigan vs. Wisconsin
Would not disclose
The mystery box is always an alluring option.
3. Citrus Bowl — Louisville vs. LSU
$305 Best Buy shopping trip; Timely Watch Co. watch; EA Sports video game; ISlide sandals; $25 Buffalo Wild Wings gift card
You could use the $305 to buy a console for the video game you get. Hopefully they let you choose which EA Sports title you want.
2. TaxSlayer Bowl — Georgia Tech vs. Kentucky
Fossil watch; carry-on bag; Under Armour sunglasses (From $89.99, underarmour.com); football; bobblehead with player’s face, name and uniform number
The bobblehead could either be really cool or really creepy.
1. Quick Lane Bowl — Boston College vs. Maryland
$200 Best Buy gift card; JBL headphones; life-sized Fathead decal for each participant of his likeness; hoodie; winter hat; Rock ’Em Apparel socks; backpack; vintage football
I’m sure at least a few players would trade a playoff appearance for a Fathead of their self.
5. Belk Bowl — Virginia Tech vs. Arkansas
Shopping trip to Belk department store; Fossil watch
Belk seems like a fine enough store, but the players would probably prefer something other than clothes and home goods.
4. Armed Forces Bowl —Navy vs. Louisiana Tech
Gift suite; Finrod’s Festive Wear holiday sweater; football; beanie
Are ugly sweaters acceptable under the Naval Academy’s dress code?
3. Pinstripe Bowl
A variety of New Era products
How many hats could you possibly need?
2. Music City Bowl — Nebraska vs. Tennessee
Gift suite; Fossil watch
That gift suite is doing a lot of heavy lifting here.
1. Liberty Bowl — TCU vs. Georgia
Bass Pro Shops shopping trip; Oculus Pro Team HD binoculars; Bulova watch; Nike athletic shoes, sport sandals, backpack and sunglasses; football
The value of the gift packages is capped at $550 and the binoculars cost $150. If they don’t like hunting, players are going to have a hard time finding a use for those.